Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Cold Steel Bushman Review


Blade Length: 7"

Overall Length: 12 1/4"

Steel: SK-5 High Carbon

Weight: 10.1 oz

Blade Thickness: 2.5 mm

Handle: Hollow

Sheath: Secure-Ex® Sheath With Ferrocerium Fire Steel
stock Bushman image.jpg
Stock Cold Steel Product Pic
info above from OEM website
The Cold Steel bushman knife is by far the best bang for your buck when it comes to field knives.  It’s extremely inexpensive, I paid $22 for mine and I’ve never had a problem with the blade.  Don’t get me wrong there are some limitations; but for the value, I don’t think you can get any better than this.  
My Favorite Field Knife

I got my standard bushman because of all the rave reviews I had heard about the knife.  I checked out the cool videos about it at Cold Steel’s website and just knew I had to try it out.  The MSRP for this blade is around $42, but can be had for much less if you shop around.  The specs are up top so most of my review will be about fit, finish and use.  Let’s start with fit and finish.
Lanyard and Fire Steel

The bushman is build from one piece of SK-5 High Carbon steel with the handle being no more than a rolled cylinder from that same piece of steel the blade is born.  Because of that, you get a 4.5” long and 1.5” wide hollow handle that you can place whatever you can think of.  Many mods include small survival kits, knife care tools, or even emergency money.  For me it’s a great place to keep my lanyard.  I want you to know, the handle is just coated steel, no scales, no texture, no warmth.  Couple other things to note about the steel, first it holds an edge really well, it stays sharp, use after use.  Also, because it’s carbon steel, you need to give it a wipe with an oily rag about once a week or right after use to prevent corrosive.  Additionally, the knife comes with a plastic sheath and simple ferrocene rod.
Nice Large Belly 

This knife has a very usable 7” of blade length.  The blade design in my opinion is best described as a roach belly, but may also be called a traditional African bush blade shape.  It has a beautiful amount of usable belly for chopping and feather-sticks.  Additionally, the bushman culminates to an amazing strong point.  I’ve used it to hand drill holes with little effort.  In fact, I’ve accidentally dropped it point down on concrete with little to no damage.  Out of the box, the bushman is paper-cutting sharp.  With a few swipes on my strop, I was shaving hairs with no problem.  As a matter of fact, I’ve never put a sharpening stone to this knife, even after doing tasks like making tent stakes and batoning firewood.  I usually just take it back to the garage inspect for dents or chips and strop it back to it’s razor-like sharpness.
Deep Mirco Edge

As mentioned before a lot of people like to mod theses knifes.  Because of the price, you don’t feel bad putting your own twist on things.  I’ve seen refinishing, homemade serrations as well as the dreaded bushman spear.  After having the knife for a while, I did a couple of mods I found quite useful.  The first, wrapping the handle with athletic tape.  I used blue tennis handle tape for high visibility during field work.  The second, I took some paracord and spun-up a braided lanyard for higher risk tasks like chopping.  Additionally, I tied a good amount of paracord to the ferrocene rod so I wouldn’t lose it.  Finally, I filed down the spine in one spot to create a 90 degree shelf for better sparking.  With these few tasks, I’ve turned this piece of steel into my perfect field knife.
Lanyard, Handle Wrap & Striker Flat

As an aside, the bushman has a small hole at the bottom of the handle for lanyards or the like, but it can convert to a spear with a slight mod.  Using a long stick and a wood screw you can turn your blade into a spear.  Many think the wood screw is to keep the stick in; but the first time you throw or thrust into something, you’ll realize you should’ve used that screw because you're not getting that stick out once it over travels.  Learn from other’s mistakes people, lol, use the screw. Tell me about your warhorse survival knife in the comments. Cheers.